chalfin became his advisor, art director, architect, and really he developed the idea about this place. >> paul chalfin was an associate of the great american decorator elsie de wolfe. deering and chalfin met in chicago in 1910. >> well, chalfin is a fascinating, enormously odd man. he was visually extraordinary, sophisticated, and talented, but slightly flawed personality in some ways. but for chalfin who begun as a mural painter, done interior design, was interested in architecture and gardens, he sort of latched on to deering as a client. this was a big opportunity for him. this was his main chance and he grabbed it. >> i think he was absolutely a character. i mean, first of all he was openly gay in the 1910s, which not something that people would necessarily be.